One of the largest Iceberg has broken off from Antarctica and splashed into the ocean. The iceberg was twice the size of Stewart Island and has broken off into the Weddell Sea. According to the European Space Agency, the iceberg has become the largest afloat in the world.
The iceberg named A-76 was spotted in satellite images which were captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission. The European Space Agency revealed in a statement that the iceberg's surface area is 4320sq km, and measures 175km by 25km.
By comparison, Stewart Island's total land area is 1746sq km, while the Spanish island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean occupies 3640sq km.
Iceberg A-76 was first detected by the British Antarctic Survey, It was later confirmed by using imagery from Copernicus Sentinel-1 which consists of two polar-orbiting satellites taken by the US National Ice Centre based in Maryland.
Scientists believe that global warming caused a thinning of such shelves which may have caused the iceberg to break off. However, they differ on whether the latest event can be blamed on climate change. Scientists expect the iceberg to break up into pieces and believe that those pieces will circle Antarctica for years or decades rather than drifting northward into shipping lanes.
Alex Brisbourne, a glaciologist at the British Antarctic Survey, stated that: "It's not an area that is undergoing any significant change because of global heating. The main message is it's part of a natural cycle,” and added that "it's big enough to influence the ocean and the salinity of the ocean."
However, this is not the first time a massive Iceberg broke away as in July 2017, one of the biggest icebergs, off the Larsen Ice Shelf, which was 6000sq km, broke off Antarctica.